Itchy Rashes: Why You ShouldnÂ’t Scratch an Itch
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Itchy Rashes: Why You ShouldnÂ’t Scratch an Itch

At some point in time, most people will have a rash of some kind. The rash may be due to an infection or an allergic reaction. The reason that rashes feel very itchy is because the rash causes inflammation on the skin. The itching could be slight or it could be severe. When itching is severe, you will do almost anything to make it stop. DonÂ’t scratch!

At some point in time, most people will have a rash of some kind. The rash may be due to an infection or an allergic reaction. The reason that rashes feel very itchy is because the rash causes inflammation on the skin. The itching could be slight or it could be severe. When itching is severe, you will do almost anything to make it stop. Don’t scratch!

There are numerous reasons for an itch itself or combined with a rash. Of course bug bites will cause itching. But other types of allergic reactions can cause itching. Some people are allergic to fiberglass. Just rubbing against a piece of fiberglass or anything that contains fiberglass can cause rather severe itching. Shrubs like pine and of course poison ivy can cause an itch and rash.

Certain soaps can cause itching and a rash. It can be hand soap, soaps used in the shower and dish washing soap. If you switch to a new brand of soap, take note if you suddenly get a rash with itching.

Sometimes itching can be a sign that the area is healing, it best not to scratch the area, especially if there is a scab. You can cover the scab with Neosporin and a band aid to relieve the itching.

Scratching will only increase the inflammation and cause more itching. Just remember that itching begets itching, because scratching stimulates the nerve endings in the skin. In the brain gets a message when you scratch that there is something irritating it. In response, the immune system sends out histamine to the skin, which causes more inflammation and more itching.

Medical researchers believe that our brain sends a scratch reflex when it thinks something has landed on our skin. An example would be like when a mosquito lands on our skin, our brain will send us the reflex to scratch or swat it away. We aren’t always bitten by mosquitoes and insects. Sometimes we have a rash because of dermatitis and allergies. Even though we have the urge to scratch, we need to avoid scratching if at all possible, because scratching makes itching worse due to our immune response.

Mosquito bite / Pixabay

How to relieve an itchy rash without scratching

There are several OTC preparations to relieve itching from rashes. There is Benadryl cream, and oral Benadryl; there are also other types of antihistamines that might be helpful. There are also OTC hydrocortisone creams.  Ask your doctor or pharmacist which one would be best to treat your problem.

One of my favorite creams to use is Aveeno 1% hydrocortisone cream. It can relieve the itching and heal many types of rashes. If you have some rash or just dry skin, you can ask your doctor or even the pharmacist at your local grocery store for a good type of lotion that can relieve the itch.

Other ways to relieve itching are using moisturizing lotions and creams. Eucerine is a very popular lotion, but there are many others such as Vaseline Intensive Care lotion and others. It’s best to use lotions that don’t have perfumed scents in them if your skin is already irritated. These non-medicated lotions may not get rid of the rash, but they may temporarily relieve itching.

If you have a chronic condition such as eczema, your doctor may suggest you use a colloidal preparation such as oatmeal in your bath water.

Another way to relieve itching is by applying a paste of baking soda to the itchy part. You may even want to take a bath in a tub full of water and baking soda. I have used the paste made from baking soda before for spider and other bites, and it does work very well to relieve the itching from bug bites.

When to see a doctor

You should consult with your doctor or pharmacist if you are concerned about your itchy rash. If your rash comes with a fever, and the fever lasts for more than 24 hours, you should consult with your physician. Likewise, if you notice other symptoms such as loss of appetite, or difficulty sleeping, see your doctor immediately. Your rash could be caused from a serious health condition.

Sources:

Itching

Resist scratching an itchy rash

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